Nintendo's next home console Metroid Prime game will now likely not release until the company has launched its next-generation console, codenamed NX.
Speaking to Eurogamer at E3, Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that due to the amount of content such a game would require, it would probably take several years to develop.
"If we started for Wii U now, it would likely take three years or so. So it would likely now be on Nintendo's NX console," he said.
"It's a long time but it would need to include a lot of content, which would take a lot of work on the development side."
Speaking with Tanabe, it was clear he had plenty of ideas for the game, including a focus on a single planet that has a time-shifting mechanic, similar to Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' single planet with dark and light variants.
"Instead of broadening it to more planets I would have one and would focus on the timeline, and being able to change that. That's one interesting idea I have in mind... but I understand many people thought that [Echoes] was too difficult."
THERE MAY BE METROID PRIME SPOILERS AHEAD.
Regardless, Tanabe continued, two particular storylines wrapped up in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would not be revisited.
"The stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done now," he confirmed, before adding that the series would still focus on other Prime-series elements.
Tanabe also considered the cliffhanger tease at the end of Corruption wrapped up too. The mysterious ship that tailed Samus at the end of the game is actually a character from Metroid Prime: Hunters, tying that spin-off into the main sub-series.
"So it was Sylux, another hunter from Metroid Prime Hunters at the end of Metroid Prime 3. Personally I'd like to create a story centring around Sylux and Samus," he said.
"We've done a story based on the Hunters, and this time around we're doing a story on the Galactic Federation," he added, referring to his new 3DS game. "I would like to cross the two over in the future. And of course see a little more of Samus."
A future Metroid Prime game could be a numbered release, too. "Three ends the trilogy, but if I can I would like to continue with numbered games."
So when would such a game be announced? And would he work with Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios again, despite the fact that many of the original staff have now moved on?
"I'm the producer of the Metroid Prime series, and [Metroid series co-creator] Yoshio Sakamoto is the one in charge of Metroid itself. I'm not sure when he's planning on making such an announcement so I can't speak for him.
"I'm not thinking about anything like that [partnering with another studio] right now. We have nothing to announce on working with any specific team."
This all points to Wii U not seeing a new Metroid Prime (or just Metroid), which is a shame, as the GamePad screen could make for an ingenious way of scanning enemies or items on screen.
"It is a great idea, I agree. Truth be told, making HD games takes a lot of time and resources," Tanabe concluded when asked why Nintendo had not made a Metroid Prime for Wii U. "I haven't been able to collect a team or the resources to do it."
Oh well. If you've got a 3DS, there's always Metroid Prime Federation Force.